The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E. Harrow

This one smelled unlike any book I’d ever held. Cinnamon and coal smoke, catacombs and loam. Damp seaside evenings and sweat-slick noontimes beneath palm fronds. It smelled as if it had been in the mail for longer than any one parcel could be, circling the world for years and accumulating layers of smells like a tramp wearing too many clothes.

It smelled like adventure itself had been harvested in the wild, distilled to a fine wine, and splashed across each page.

But I’m stumbling ahead of myself. Stories are supposed to be told in order, with beginnings and middles and ends. I’m no scholar, but I know that much.

WOW! This book will leave you with your mouth hanging open, your eyes drinking in the beauty and your heart making you realize that you still have one.

From the beginning – where we meet seven year old January Scaller – until the very end you will be in another world – several other worlds actually.

January is the ward of the wealthy collector Mr. Locke. Her father is collecting art and artifacts all over the world for Mr. Locke, so January is mostly alone. Then she discovers a door – not just a normal door, but a Door. You’ve heard that before? Trust me – not like this.

Her story is about stories. Why they are important and essential to progress. Without stories the world will stagnate and wither.

This book will suck you in and never let go. The language, the stories, the unfolding of the plot, the strangeness and the love will stay with you a long time after you’ve finished the book. And when you put it down, you will have dreaming eyes and a silly smile on you face.

ALIX E. HARROW has written short fiction that has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards and won the HUGO award 2019 for best short story with A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies. THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY is her first novel.

The blurb on the front of the book by author Amal El-Mohtar says it all in just two words – “Unbearably beautiful”.

A Chorus of Dragons – Jenn Lyons


Cover artist: Lars Grant-West
Cover artist

When they brought me up to the auction block, I looked out over the crowd and thought:

I would kill you all if I had a knife. And if I wasn’t naked, I amended.
And shackled. I had never felt so helpless, and-

That’s the opening lines of THE RUIN OF KINGS – the first book in the epic fantasy series A CHORUS OF DRAGONS by JENN LYONS.

Judging by book one and two this series will be a landmark in epic fantasy. JENN LYONS is creating a fantastic world filled with fascinating characters.

The series will be published in five books – one new book every nine months!

THE MEMORY OF SOULS (book 3) will be out August 25, 2020. Here’s a preview of the cover:


Cover artist: Lars Grant-West
Cover artist

JENN LYONS is curently writing book 4 – THE HOUSE OF ALWAYS

You will find my reviews of the published books here:

  1. The Ruin of Kings
  2. The Name of All Things

The Name of all Things – Jenn Lyons


Cover artist: Lars Grant-West
Cover artist

This is the second book in the series A CHORUS OF DRAGONS.

You should absolutely read the first book, THE RUIN OF KINGS, before you read this one.

If you read this review without having read the preceding book, there will be spoilers – so don’t read the review until you have read the preceding book.

To help you avoid spoilers, you will only see the review, if you press the button below.


Kihrin lowered his pack to the hay-strewn ground. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but there’s been a mistake. No one here’s expecting me.”

The old woman looked surprised. “You ain’t named Kihrin, then?”

The young man, who definitely was named Kihrin, managed not to pull out any weapons. Barely. “Who gave you that name?”

“Your woman said you’d be along”

This is the beginning of THE NAME OF ALL THINGS.

Though Kihrin still plays a large role in this book, the role of Janel Theranon is just as large and important. Kihrin is not really sure, what her role is – but he has met her before and is quite smitten.

Janet believes that Relos Var possesses one of the most powerful artifacts in the world – the Cornerstone called the Name of All Tings.

Soon the plot thickens – a lot of threads spread out, some visible others hidden. In the fashion of epic fantasy everything gets more complicated.

…..and then of course we have dragons to mess up things.

But JENN LYONS keeps it all together and this book makes her whole universe bigger and still more fascinating without losing clarity, while still adding more characters and problems to solve. I love this series.

SPOILERS!

Down among the Dead – K. B. Wagers



Cover artist: Stephan Martiniere
Cover artist

DOWN AMONG THE DEAD is the second book in the THE FARIAN WAR.

The series started in THE INDRANAN WAR (three books) and right after the end of book three continued in THERE BEFORE THE CHAOS – the first book in THE FARIAN WAR.

You should absolutely start with BEHIND THE THRONE – the first book in THE INDRANAN WAR.

This review is for DOWN AMONG THE DEAD.

If you read this review without having read the preceding books, there will be spoilers – so don’t read the review until you have read the preceding books.

To help you avoid spoilers, you will only see the review, if you press the button below.

——————————–

A liar. A thief and smuggler. A killer through and through.

I’d thought that was all I was, but I was dragged home by those who’d convinced themselves I was an empress worthy of the throne, and somewhere along the way I started to believe it myself.

I am a killer. I am also an empress.

I am the Star of Indrana and there is no one who can stand in my way.

Hail Bristol and the remainder of her crew has been captured by Aiz Cevalla and Mia of the Shen. Hail is devastated by the loss of most of her crew and friends when the embassy exploded.

She is having nightmares and has lost most of her will to continue living after the devastating loss. She cannot contact the outside world and has no idea if anyone knows she is still alive.

Of course things are not completely what they seem, but Hail spends six months as a prisoner before things change.

Who are their real enemies – The Shen or the Farians, the gods of the Farians or maybe not any of these, but someone else? The plot thickens and we shall have to wait till book three until we get any answers.

K. B. Wagers is still doing a fantastic job with these books. This is some of the best Space Opera around, and I finished this book in record time.

SPOILERS!

Finder – Suzanne Palmer


Cover artist: Kekai Kotaki
Cover artist

“A repo man!” she interrupted.

“More a professional finder,” he said. “But essentially, yes.”

She appeared at the edge of his light, grinning, holding out a bright gloved hand. “I’m Mattie Vahn. Mother Vahn to most folk.”

“Fergus Ferguson,” he said, shaking it. “Pleased to meet you.”

“Mr. Ferguson,” she said, and he liked the old-fashioned tone she said it with. “I suggest you finish sealing up. I’m going to short the airlock.”

“You’re what?”

“I’m getting out of this trap,” she said. “You coming?”

Fergus Ferguson calls himself a finder, but he has been called a lot of names: Thief, con artist, repo man.

He’s coming to the deep space colony, Cernee, to find the spaceship Venetia’s Sword and repossess it from Arum Gilger, ex-nobleman turned power hungry criminal.

What he thought was a relatively easy job quickly turns hard and nasty. He has barely arrived, when he finds himself very lucky to survive a coldblooded murder of a fellow passenger in a cable car to Central Station in the middle of Cernee.

Soon, he is in the middle of a war for power between criminal factions and the local authorities. He gets some help from the Vahn family – a family of cloned women. The situation escalates, aliens become involved – and we are off to the races.

FINDER is Suzanne Palmer’s first novel. She won the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novelette “The Secret Life of Bots”, and has won several other awards.

Besides being a very interesting Space Opera, Suzanne Palmer’s world-building is superb, her writing smooth, flowing and easy to read – and her characters really makes you want to know more about them. And this book is also a lot of fun – not to be missed.

Even though the book stands alone just fine, lucky for us it is the first in a series. The next one is due in May 2020, so we don’t have long to wait. I loved everything about this book and the next one is already at the top of my reading list.